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Let’s talk: Dermal Fillers


This may surprise you, but dermal fillers have actually been on the market since the 1970’s. Even the concept of injectables can be tracked all the way back to the late 1800’s, when doctors used the method of fat transplanting from thicker areas on the body, such as arms, to fill facial defects. But they’ve changed a lot over the last 50 years! 

What are the different types of dermal filler?


You’ve probably heard all about this “fountain of youth.” Collagen is the most prevalent protein in our bodies and is the major building block of connective tissues, including facial skin and muscles. For some time, medical professionals were using bovine collagen in injectables. However, bovine collagen is a foreign substance to the human body and there were minor complications, such as swelling and rejection. It was also relatively ineffective over longer periods of time.

This is not to be confused with ingestible collagen (bovine and marine collagen) advertised to improve your collagen levels. What does this mean in terms of benefits to you? Well for starters: improved skin elasticity, stronger nails, and improvement in gut pain and joint pain without the rejection potential of injectable forms.

Hyaluronic Acid

In the early 2000’s, the FDA approved the introduction of hyaluronic acid fillers. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in our bodies and these fillers last much longer than collagen fillers. The first manufacturer to market with the hyaluronic acid filler was Galderma® with Restylane. Quickly after was Allergan’s® line of Juvéderm.

After this major advancement in the formula, lidocaine was mixed into the filler to help provide numbing effects for the patient and reduce discomfort during injection.[1]

What do dermal fillers do?

Like Botox®, dermal fillers were designed to treat signs of aging and are approved by the FDA.* However, dermal fillers have more versatility and can treat wrinkles caused by loss of collage and elasticity in the skin.

Botox® can treat fine line and wrinkles, even prevent signs of aging; but dermal filler can plump thinning lips, enhance shallow areas of the face, soften the look of recessed scars decrease shadows and wrinkles under the eyes and lower eyelid, and fill in/soften wrinkles even in the lower area of the face.

Which dermal filler is right for you?

There are two options in the filler market: Juvéderm and Restylane. Under each brand are several product options, and providers should offer a consultation to determine the best product based on your age, skin type, and desired area.

This article gives insight on the desired areas of injection and what two industry professionals believe to be the most effective products:

Are there side effects?

As with any injectable procedure, most people can expect some mild, temporary swelling and bruising. Other side effects include pain at injection site, redness, discoloration, lumps, firmness, and itching. Any injection has risk for infection, but this is easily preventable with proper post-care instructions given by your provider.[2]

*Products discussed in this article under Allergan® and Galderma® are approved by the FDA.


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